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China bans ships from area north of Taiwan Sunday due to 'falling rocket wreckage'
China bans ships from area north of Taiwan Sunday due to 'falling rocket wreckage'
by AFP Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 13, 2023

China will ban ships from entering an area north of Taiwan on Sunday due to "possible falling rocket wreckage", a provincial maritime authority said.

The area around 100 miles (160 kilometres) from Taipei will be closed from 9 am (0100 GMT) to 3 pm (0700 GMT), the maritime safety administration of China's eastern Fujian province said Thursday, adding that ships will be "forbidden to enter".

Beijing last week held three days of massive war games around self-ruled Taiwan, simulating targeted strikes and a blockade of the island that it views as part of its territory and has vowed to bring under its control one day.

The drills came in response Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the United States, where she met government officials, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The announcement of the sea closure came after Taiwan's transport ministry on Wednesday said Beijing planned to impose a no-fly zone north of the island due to "space activities".

The restrictions would be in force from 9:30 am to 9:57 am (0130 to 0157 GMT) on Sunday, the ministry said, adding that Beijing had initially planned a three-day shutdown.

At a regular press briefing on Thursday, Beijing's foreign ministry declined to confirm whether the no-fly zone would be imposed.

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